Author Topic: The Perfect Cherry  (Read 106534 times)

Offline Pandean

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2014, 08:51:47 AM »
Yay! More!  :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #46 on: September 28, 2014, 09:23:48 AM »
Keep it coming! Best part of my day so far.

Offline Nostrabuttus

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #47 on: September 28, 2014, 01:11:26 PM »
Bodwen, you have so much talent.  :clap:  :clap: :clap: Keep it going. You have a best-seller in the making.
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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #48 on: September 28, 2014, 05:12:47 PM »
I remember reading this as a guest.  Very funny.  Glad you have added more.

Offline bodwen

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #49 on: September 28, 2014, 05:13:05 PM »
  "Look at him!" one of the girls beside me hissed enthusiastically to her friend.
  "He's hot," said Chatterbox Two.
  I stiffened.  I was pretty sure they were not talking about Chancellor Collins, who looked like he'd passed on seven months ago and had been dug up for the ceremony.
  "Must be Christian Grey," Chatterbox One confirmed.
  "Is he single?"
  I bristled. "I don't think so," I murmured, feeling oddly protective toward these two babbling idiots.
  "Oh." Both girls looked at me in surprise.
  "I think he's gay," I muttered.
  "What a shame," one of the girls groaned.
  As the chancellor kicked off the ceremony with his speech, I felt Christian Grey's eyes boring into to me.  His stare was so intense I could almost feel the red dot of a laser tracker on my forehead.  I sank into my seat, hunching my shoulders trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible.
  As the chancellor droned on, Christian Grey looked away from me, fixing his gaze at the WSUV banner overhead.  He didn't look at me for the remainder of the chancellor's speech, thank God.
  Maybe he'd given up and moved on. Maybe he saw I'm with someone and he just wanted me to be happy.
  A girl could dream couldn't she?
  "In conclusion, I'd like to lead things off with a speech from our valedictorian Cherry Bentley.  But first, a word from our newest and most generous benefactor, Christian Grey.
  The audience stood to applaud.
  Holy Crap!  Christian Grey was going to speak.  The students took their seats and I noticed many of the women, and some of the men, had their hands tucked under their robes.  He approached the lectern and surveyed the hall like a hawk watching a field of bunnies.  
  "I'm profoundly grateful and touched by the great compliment accorded to me by the authority of WSU today.  It offers me a rare opportunity to talk about the impressive work of the environmental science department here at the university..."
  Holy smokes, what a windbag!  The two girls next to me leaned in, their perpetually wagging tongues hung out of their mouths a little.  I rolled my eyes.
  He droned on "...our aim is to develop viable and ecologically sustainable methods of farming for third world countries..."
  Blah, blah, blah.  Give me a break. He didn't fly all the way from New York to Washington State to end world hunger.  He flew all the way from New York to Washington State to make my life a living hell.
  I felt my phone buzz again and look at a text from Shari.

OH SH*T!!!  I CAN'T GIVE MY SPEECH!  HE STILL THINKS YOU'RE CHERRY BENTLEY!!!  :-O

I texted back

I CANT HELP U WID DAT  :(

YES YOU CAN!  YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE SPEECH FOR ME!!!              

 I looked up at the stage and Christian Grey was blathering on with some sob story about his personal experiences with profound hunger with his eyes fixed in the distance.  I dialed Shari.  This wasn't the sort of thing we can resolve over IM.
  "Shari.  I can't give your speech for you."
  "Oh, my god!  You have to!  When they introduce Cherry Bentley and I haul my ass up there instead of you, he's going to go all bats**t on me and freak the f**k out!!!"
  "He's going to find out sooner or later."
  "It has to be later!  After I start my new job at the New York Times next week!  I just know he'll screw that up for me when he learns that we've played him for a sucker!"
  "And what about the other two thousand people here who know I'm Fannie Clark and not Cherry Bentley?  They'll drag me off the stage before I can even open my mouth."
  "No they won't!  I know ASL."
  "ASL?  Is that some weird fetish thing?"  
  "No, dummy!  American Sign Language."        
  "Shari.  No."  I said and hung up.  I hoped that's the end of it, but Christian is still droning on and Shari is on her feet and coming toward me.
  She knelt before me and took my hand in hers.  "Fannie, please.  You have to do this one little thing for me."
  I felt terrible, because I wanted to help.  "No Shari."
  "Please, Fannie,"  Shari begged.  "This will work.  The people who don't know us will think you're Cherry Bentley and I'm your interpreter.  The people who do know me will think you're giving the verbal part of the speech for me and I'm just showing off."
  "I can't.  Besides it would look weird that I don't have those fancy purple robes."
  "You do now." Shari pulled her robe off, the cue cards spilling from her pocket, revealing a slinky blue backless Italian designer dress with just a hint of side-and-back cleavage.  Angel's eyes widened at the sight of the coppery-haired siren down on all fours in front of him, since he's only human after all.  But he averted his eyes in a hurry.  
   She held the gown out to me but I wouldn't take it.  
  "Forget it. I'm not prepared.  And you know I get stage fright."
  "You don't get stage fright," Angel said.
  "Yes, I do."
  "You didn't get stage fright in freshman drama class.  You totally killed it.  I flubbed my lines ten times and you just keep going like a trooper, altering your lines around my mistakes."
  "Yes, well that was different," I muttered.
  "How was that different?"  Angel asked.
 Because I was young and infatuated and hoping to get laid.
  Of course I didn't say that.  What I said was, "It was different because that was acting. And because you were there with me, quick to smile at me and cheer me on."
  "I'm still cheering you on," Angel said with a voice that touched my heart. "Only this time I'll be cheering you on from my seat. If you get scared, just look at me and I'll smile and you'll know you have a friend in the audience."
  "And you won't be up there alone," Shari said. "I'll be right up there next to you."
  What can I say.  I'd have to have a heart of pure ice to say no after that.  "Very well.  Hand me the cue cards."
« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 10:18:42 PM by bodwen »

CradleOfInsanity

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2014, 10:08:42 AM »
LSHIDMTAMSFO!

Offline Pandean

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2014, 10:15:01 AM »
LSHIDMTAMSFO!

That is one big acronym.

Also, this is getting better and better, Bodwen. So glad you're continuing.
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Offline acompton

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2014, 02:18:16 PM »
I love everything about this!!!

Offline bodwen

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2014, 12:29:24 AM »
  Have you ever had that dream where you’re the lead in the school play, and you never bothered to learn your lines, and now you’re up in front of 2,000 people, trying to recite a Shakespearen tragedy through a long series of lucky guesses?
  Of course you have.
  There is a reason everyone has that nightmare.
  I took my place at the lectern, tapped the microphone to make sure it was on, and saw 2,000 people wince. 
  “Go Seahawks,” I said.
  Crickets. 
  I looked over at Angel Clare and he nodded and smiled at me.  I can do this, I thought.  Just read the cards and forget there are people out there.
  “A-hem.  When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were things like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess.”
  A few people in the audience who actually knew me burst into belly laughs at that one.  I looked at Shari who was signing frantically.  She mouthed: “you’re doing great.” 
  I cleared my throat and prayed that was the worst of it. “When we were ten, they asked again and we answered - rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist.”
  Now even people who didn’t know me were laughing. The people who did know me were falling out of their folding chairs and wiping tears out of the corners of eyes. 
  Geez, why didn’t Shari just ask me to get up here naked?  That would have been a little less mortifying.  Still I soldiered on.
 “But now that we've grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how—'About this: “
  I flipped the card since the speech was continued on Card 2. 
  Unfortunately, the next card was Card 6.  They must have gotten shuffled when they fell out of her pocket.  Shari glanced over and did a double-take, but she’s so refined I doubt anyone noticed.
  “Er...um..."  Christ, I'd have to adlib it, but my mind was a blank.  "Uh...Who the hell knows?”
  I'd hoped that would get a laugh.  It did.  Uncomfortable laughter by the sound of it. The trustees were looking at one another.  I’m sure they weren’t expecting this type of language from their valedictorian.I let those ill-inspired words sink in for a while, which gave Shari time to fix the cards under the pretense reaching for a water bottle.   
  I looked down, Shari had put me on Card 5 and was tapping partway down with her finger, at a part that wasn’t a bad segue. 
  “This isn't the time to make hard and fast decisions, it’s time to make mistakes.”  I glanced over at Christian Grey, who nodded and gave me a knowing look.
  “Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill.”
  Chill?  Are you kidding me, Shari?  It was as if she’d plagiarized this verbatim from some cheesy teen movie!
  “Fall in love.” I stared a Shari “A LOT!  Major in philosophy 'cause there's no way to make a career out of that--”
  Oh no she didn't!  Sure enough, that got some boos and a few plastic bottle thrown at the stage by people I assume were Philosophy majors. Nice Shari.  Way to mock people’s hopes and dreams at the exact moment it’s too late to do anything about it.
  “Er…and always remember to be nice to people.  Especially yourselves.  Bye.”
I pushed the cards away and stormed off the stage, leaving Shari to deal with the aftermath and the transition to the next speaker. 
  I dropped into my seat, buried my face in my lap with my hands over my head.  God that was painful.  I think my karmic debt to Shari just dropped into the single digits.  I felt a light tug on my arm, like there was a kitten pulling on it.  I look up and saw Angel Clare’s big brown eyes.
  “You were great up there,” he said.
  Was he mocking me?  It wasn’t a mocking smile.  Still, nobody could be that easily impressed. I stayed hunched up in my ball of shame. “No I wasn’t.  It was awful.” 
  “No way. You were hilarious.  You had the audience in stitches.”
  “I’m sure the philosophy majors didn’t think so.”
  He scoffed. “They’ll live.  These valedictorian speeches are usually so narcissistic or patronizing. You and Shari really gave the audience a treat by keeping it short and funny. When you said you wanted to be a princess and a gold medalist, I just about died,”
  “Oh, you thought that was funny?”  Princess Fannie the Rhythmic Gymnast, what a laugh-riot.
  “Only because of the way your face spasmed with irony as you said it.  I know you said it was supposed to be Shari up there, but that was so Fannie. I’ll bet you helped her write it.”
  “Just a line here and there,” I confessed.
  “Really? Who wrote the last line? Because that was my favorite part.”
  I looked up from my full-body cringe. Before, I suspected he might be a well-closeted insensitive jerk, cruel enough to mock me in my darkest moment.  I even suspected this whole dinner-date offer had been some cruel sham, like my prom date with Peter, Shari, and their mutual boyfriend.
  And yet…how could he possibly know I’d adlibbed there?
  “That was all me.”
  “I thought that line was great. It’s too easy for us to lose ourselves in helping others that we forget that we ourselves are deserving of praise."
  I thought to myself, is this guy for real?  He has to remind himself not to be so completely unselfish 100% of the time?  And he wants to have dinner with me?
  “Would you like to meet my dad before we go to dinner?” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
  “Sure,” he said. “I’d like that a lot.”
  Angel Clare wants to meet my dad. 
  He was going to meet my dad, then take me to dinner, and maybe even give me a chaste kiss on my doorstep before begging me to quit my nonexistent job and fly with him to Rio.
  Or maybe, he’d meet my dad, then we go to dinner he’d ask me if I wouldn’t mind watering his plants while he’s gone. He’d show me his place and casually drape himself on the couch on a black tee and tight jeans while I blushed and tried to hide the burning of my face. He’d put on some slow music and ask me if I like to dance. I don’t, but I’d say I do, and we’d dance really slowly, until my nerves calmed and he tilted my chin up and brushed his lips against mine and I’d pull away, because it’s too much too soon.  Then he’d stroke my hair and tell me all the things he likes about me and he’d try again, only this time I’d let him.  Then I'd break it off and ask him if he loves me or if he just wants to use me, because I love him and don't want to be used.  He'll tells me he loves me more than I could ever imagine.  Then we’d end up in his bed in a tangle of limbs and bedsheets for about three hours until he spooned me close and begged me to quit my nonexistent job and fly with him to Rio.
  Either way.  It was all good.  So good, in fact,  I completely forgot about Christian Grey, hovering nearby like a big gray stormcloud, ready to rain a plague down upon my happiness.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 01:07:26 AM by bodwen »

Offline Falthor

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2014, 08:08:47 AM »
tagging for later reading...
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Offline bodwen

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2014, 03:46:32 PM »
  We began the long, tedious process of collecting our degrees.  Christian Grey must have finagled a spot on the receiving line.  He was shaking hands with students.  Needless to say, Shari and I sat that part out.  After they called Cherry Bentley and we stayed in our seats, Christian Grey gave me a menacing looked before wandering off to god only knows where.
  A man in a suit and buzz cut appears behind my chair while they are on the D’s.  “Christian Grey wants to talk with you.”
  I recognized the man as the guy who handed my clothing after I’d preformed my rendition of The Nutcracker Suite on Christian Grey’s ballsack. “What does he want?”
  “He wants to know why you haven’t been emailing him.”
  The two chatterboxes turned and gaped at me. “Wow, you’re friends with Christian Grey?” Chatterbox One said.
  “Hell no! Tell him my computer is in the shop,” I said tartly.  Apparently a kick to the groin as a bit too subtle for some people.
  The guy with the buzz cut went on robotically.  “He also said he reserved a private table at the Heathman for tonight and his helicopter is waiting in the parking lot.
  “Tell him I’ve made other plans.”
  He tried to give me a stack of paper. “Cancel them. He’s going to need an answer from you, and soon.”
  I grabbed the papers before Angel could get a good look at them and then tore them in half and handed them back to buzzcut.  “I think this should be a clear enough answer for him.”
  “Anything else, Miss Bentley.” He asked without emotion.
  "Yes!  Tell him to quit stalking me!  It’s really creepy!”
  “As you wish,” he said and walked away.
  “What was that all about?” Angel asked me.  “And why did he call you Miss Bentley.”
  “It’s a long story.”  I said.  “The gist is, he’s mistaken me for Shari, so now he’s chasing me around like Pepe La Pew.”
  “Weird,” Angel said.
  “Ha! You don’t know the half of it.”
  At long last the ceremony ended. “Let’s go meet your dad.”
  We found him in the swarm of family members and I was gratified to see he’d bought a new flannel shirt and jeans for the occasion. “Dad, this is Angel Clare.  Angel, this is my dad, Ray Charles.”
  “Nice to meet you, Mr. Clare,” Ray said. “Though technically speaking, I’m Fannie’s stepdad.”
  Yes, he was always so quick to throw that out. “But he’s known me all of my life, so I think of him as my father.”
  Ray yawned. “God, I’m parched.  You know where I can find some booze around here?”
  “No,” Angel said.
  “Lucky thing I’ve brought my own then.”  He pulled a hip flask from his pocket and took a swig. Then held it out to Angel who waved it away.
  I tapped my toe. “Come on, Dad, really?”
  “Fannie, I just sat there for two and a half hours listening to all sorts of jabbering.  I need a drink.”
   Fortunately, Angel smiled.  “I can see where Fannie gets her delightful sense of humor from.”
  “Well she certain didn’t get it from that daffy witch I was married to.  So what’s is your major, Sport?”
  “Biology.  I’m premed.”
  “No kidding.  My little Fannie dating a future doctor. I would have never guessed it.”
  “Dad…”
  “She was never popular. You know she was the kid who always got picked last in sports—“
  “Dad.”
   “Why I remember when her momma and I tried to enroll her in dance classes as a tyke to teach her coordination, and she was so bad at it that she gave her dance instructor a nervous breakdown. “
  “Dad!”
  “Of course her momma and I had to be good sports about it in the car, but that night the missus turned to me and said ‘my poor Fannie, she’s never going to amount to anything, is she?’”
  “DAD!!!”
  Angel flourished at me like a gameshow hostess. “Now look at her, a beautiful swan.”
  To my surprise, Ray nodded. “Who would have thought that my clumsy little girl would grow up to be such a beauty?”
  Angel nodded. “I know all too well what it’s like to be the ugly duckling.”
  “Really?” I said with disbelief.
  “Sure.  As a kid I was scrawny for my age and had to wear coke-bottle glasses. I got bullied on a daily basis. Then the growth spurts kicked in, I got contacts, started lifting weights, and all the girls who wouldn’t let me sit next to them on the bus couldn’t take their eyes off me.”
  I laughed. “Yeah, that I can imagine.”
At that point Shari, the other Bentleys, and their entourage, namely Dava, went drifting by. We all exchanged congratulations and Shari pulled me to one side.  “So you have a date with Angel, huh?”
  “Yep,” I said proudly.
  “What are you wearing under those robes?”
  “Um, cargo shorts and a tank top.”
  “She looked down at my satin ballet flats.  “With those shoes?”
  “My track shoes are in the car.  My dad’s idea of a special occasion dinner is letting me have both caramel and hot fudge on my McSundae.”
  She pulled me to the cinderblock restrooms.  ‘We better change clothes.”
  No matter how many times Shari swooped in with her angelic generosity when it came to her wardrobe it never failed to amaze me. “You’d do that for me?”
  “Why not?  My date is a no-show, and I’ve told a really wild tale to my family that’s completely ruled out the option of having dinner with them.  I’m just headed home after this so it’s not like anyone is going to know what I have on under here.”
  She went into one stall and I went into another, and tossed our clothing over the barrier. 
  “So you and Angel Clare, huh?  Is it serious?”
  “It’s far too early for things to be serious but he’s been talking with Ray for about five minutes, and he hasn’t run for the hills , so that’s a pretty good sign.” 
  “Yes, well Angel Clare’s always had a thing for you.”
  “What makes you say that?”
  “Whenever he ran into me on campus he referred to me as ‘Fannie’s Friend’ and asked how you were and if you were seeing anyone.”
  “You might have said something.” Her evening dress was a little more snug on me than her, which was fortunate since I don’t exactly carry double-sided tape in my handbag. 
  “I thought he was being pretty obvious. I figured you weren’t interested.”
  I stowed my bra in my purse, pulled on the robe, and we emerged from our stalls and let out a scream as we saw Christian Grey hovering in the doorway like the angel of death.  He gave me a sheepish smile.  “Miss Bentley. I don’t know if you’re acting willfully impertinent just to make me crazy, but it’s definitely working.”
  “I’ve already told you. The answer is no!  And in case I didn’t make it clear enough.  No!” I pushed him aside.  “How many times do I have to tell you to go away and leave me alone.  For the hundredth time, I’m not interested in you and your twisted little sex games!”
  “Yeah, go flip a house, you creep!”  Shari linked arms with me as we marched past him.
  As we walked through the crowd, I kept my eyes straight ahead, while Shari looked back over her shoulder.
  “Is he following us?” I whispered.
  “Yeah.”
  “Damn.”
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 01:18:57 AM by bodwen »

Offline Missus Braidyhead

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2014, 07:49:51 PM »
Keep going, keep going! Double karma! Er, I'll have to come back later for the second one. But still! LOVE!

But watch it with the "cheesy YA novel" bit. ;)

Offline Pandean

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2014, 07:51:39 PM »
+100

Nice job, Bodwen.
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Offline bodwen

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2014, 08:26:47 PM »
Keep going, keep going! Double karma! Er, I'll have to come back later for the second one. But still! LOVE!

But watch it with the "cheesy YA novel" bit. ;)

But the speech WAS plagarized verbatim from a cheesy YA novel.    :whistle:

Offline Pandean

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Re: The Perfect Cherry
« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2014, 08:31:26 PM »
Keep going, keep going! Double karma! Er, I'll have to come back later for the second one. But still! LOVE!

But watch it with the "cheesy YA novel" bit. ;)

But the speech WAS plagarized verbatim from a cheesy YA novel.    :whistle:

Lol, actually, Cheesy YA movie. I don't even think there was a speech in the novel.
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